Tom Hanks Wasn’t Supposed to Play Lead Role in Philadelphia

On December 23, one of the LGBT community’s most iconic films, Philadelphia, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The milestone will be marked on Nov. 12, when cast members, director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner assemble at Columbia University Medical Center to discuss the film’s impact in a symposium called “Philadelphia Twenty Years Later: Narrative and the Epidemic.”

In an interview on NewNowNext, Nyswaner dishes out some behind-the-scenes gems, including the reason he cut a love scene between Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas, and that Hanks wasn’t his first choice for the role of Andrew Beckett. It was originally offered to Daniel Day Lewis, but he passed it up. Nyswaner says he was pissed at the time. “How could he?,” he says in the interview. “This is going to be such an important film.” But now he’s thanking the sweet heavens, because, hello, Philadelphia without Tom Hanks? It’s too hard to imagine.

Check out the entire video interview here.